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Baby Flies StarClass (Pt 3): Jetstar NRT-CNS-SYD  
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15446 times:

In part 1, my wife B, 18 month old son Alex and me flew Qantas business class on an A332 from Sydney to Shanghai. Part 2 detailed our flights in Cathay Pacific’s economy class on Boeing 744’s from Shanghai to Hong Kong and onwards to Kansai International Airport. Now comes the final installment, when we swap full service carriers on frequent flyer points for a fully paid for flight on the low cost carrier Jetstar back from Tokyo to Sydney via Cairns.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m addicted to Japan. If you’ve read previous trip reports of mine you probably know it too. This was our eighth trip to the land of the rising sun and In the past three years we have flown three times to Japan with Jetstar, thanks to their fantastic fares. We also had a long haul flight with them to Kuala Lumpur back when they flew their A332’s direct to there from Sydney.

When flying back to Australia on Jetstar from Tokyo you have the option of routing via Cairns or the Gold Coast. Last trip was via the Gold Coast and while the descent was gorgeous the under-construction airport facilities were dreadful. I have a great fondness for Cairns’ international airport, so I selected that instead. Plus it was a little cheaper! I also figured that the longer stopover would give Alex time to run around off the aircraft.

As the trip got closer I got more and more nervous about the flight back home. For a poor sleeper like myself overnight flights have the potential to be very uncomfortable. I just felt like a bit of luxury on this trip, just for once (or twice in this case!) in my life. So I called up the Jetstar call centre to request an upgrade to StarClass.

“Are you in Singapore?”
“No sir, Malaysia.”
“Nice place! My wife is Malaysian. How much would it cost to upgrade my flight to StarClass?”
“I can’t tell you exactly in Australian dollars because it is charged in yen.”
“No problem, I have a converter open on my computer.”

I relayed my credit card details and the upgrade was done. So now I would get to experience a real business class with Qantas and StarClass with Jetstar for the first time in my life.

A month later and here we are sitting in a hotel room in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, depressed about leaving Japan. Alex is standing on the armrest of the chair staring out of the window at the busy railway lines in and out of Shinjuku station, calling out “Woo woo!” whenever a train rolls past. So much like his daddy!

Woo woo!

He has enjoyed his many train rides, running up and down the aisles greeting the other passengers, playing with tray tables and eating the odd ice cream from the carts that ply their way up and down the trains.

Then it was time to carry our luggage down and check out of the hotel. We walked to the station, reserved seats on the Narita Express, then spent the rest of the day wandering the shops of Shinjuku, eating a lunch made up of purchases from the amazing basement food court of Takashimaya.

Looking towards Takashimaya Times Square

As always in Tokyo we were cutting things a little fine when we finally emerged from the department stores and rushed back to the hotel. Now loaded down with our too-heavy luggage we struggled in a hurry back to Shinjuku station and the distant Narita Express platform. However, we made such good time that we had 15 minutes to spare, enough time to pose for photos in front of it.

This was the new Narita Express. Inside were luggage racks with combination locks, wifi (I think you need to have an existing Japanese service provider), power sockets and information screens. I have a great fondness for the old N’Ex and it was nice to see that this newer version retained much of the colour and atmosphere of the old.

Old Narita Express seen earlier in the day

The new N’EX

Interior shot

I know that most people decry Narita Airport as being too far from central Tokyo, but for me it’s one of the attractions. I love the relaxing pause that comes from sitting in the comfortable train and watching Japan roll past. The journey starts in the crazy urban cityscape of greater Tokyo before entering the serentiy of rural Japan, paddy fields glimmering in the evening light as farmers walk dogs along the quiet roads lined by bamboo forests.

Rural scene

Then its into the tunnel and out of the train at Narita’s Terminal 2.

Platform, Terminal 2

From the station to the departures area is up a series of inconvenient escalators that they scarily allow you to carry trolleys on. When our bags were weighed at the dedicated StarClass check-in counter we were glad of the extra allowance from the economy 20 kg to 30 kg. Understanding that the luggage rules for a LCC are different, we queried whether we could take the baby carrier backpack onboard, as we had done for the previous legs. The supervisor was consulted and he said that he thought that it should be okay, but to check at the gate, just in case there was no space.




Bags checked in, we ascended the escalator to the food and shopping level. Both B and Alex were hungry, but I, as is often the case before a night flight, felt a little queasy. I just don’t feel like eating anything too rich, oily or salty. Options of noodles, tonkatsu or sashimi just didn’t work for me and there was no way we were going to eat at a western restaurant.

The shopping was of little interest as it was quite familiar to us. One little disappointment was that the fruit shop seemed to be missing. A big Japanese apple would have done me nicely.

View from the observation area near the Japanese restaurants

I convinced B to try airside as we had been given vouchers for the Qantas business lounge as part of the StarClass check in. The queues at security were the shortest that I had ever seen, though my daypack of electronics caused the usual problems.

On the other side of security is the usual range of duty free stores selling luxury items and electronics. I really wanted a chance to relax in the lounge so I encouraged B to catch the automated shuttle train out to the satellite gates.

Automatic train

The Qantas business lounge was a smaller version of the Sydney lounge. With the Qantas flight departing soon it was starting to wind down for the night. B found herself and Alex some soup and a chicken, vegetable and rice dish for dinner, along with crackers and cheese. By the time it was my turn to eat the rice dish was finished, so I made do with some tiny, but tasty sushi and
little cakes. There wasn’t a huge amount of offer, but what was provided was of high quality. The range of non-alcoholic drinks was also good, which will probably interest few people here!

Lounge lights

Space to relax

Computer area

Self-serve food area

For petite stomachs

Very yummy

I must commend the Qantas lounge on their toilets. Not only did they have the usual bum washing and seat warming options, the seat lids automatically lifted on approach. I miss Japanese toilets.

I love Japanese toilets

I can’t remember whether it had the auto-lower seat option on for maximum marital satisfaction.

We were some of the last to leave the lounge, which closes at 9.30pm. It is fortunate that there was food there as all the little shops on the way to the gate had closed for the night.

I like artificial banana essence!
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15436 times:

Then it was time to board.

CARRIER: Jetstar
CLASS: StarClass
ETD: 21:25 (local)
ETA: 06:05 (local)
AIRCRAFT: Airbus Industrie A330-200

It’s art

The A332 aircraft that Qantas gave to Jetstar were meant for domestic operations, but they apparently had issues with turn times. Unfortunately for Qantas, these aircraft had been ordered with lower weight, but weaker, floors which were unable to support their Skybeds. As such, they resisted redeploying them on international routes.

Being a low cost carrier, Jetstar had no need (at least at the time) to provide lie flat beds. However, instead of just providing a single economy cabin, they decided to reuse the existing domestic business class seats (Millenium?) on the A332s for a premium cabin that they labelled StarClass.

With this knowledge in mind I was under no illusion that our seats would be as comfortable as the Qantas Skybeds we had on the flight up to Shanghai. Looking at the StarClass photos I was hoping for something comparable to a comfortable reclining armchair.

The StarClass cabin

The cabin was reasonably full

The verdict on comfort would have to wait until we were up in the air. The baby carrier made it onboard without any issues and we stowed it, and the other bags in the overhead lockers. After we sat down we were offered a drink of orange juice or champagne. We took the former. We were also given amenity packs with blankets, inflatable pillows, eyeshades, earplugs and socks. We had bought one on our very first Jetstar longhaul flight and the blanket had served us well, especially last year as a wrap for Alex in Japan. This time the packs were included in the ticket, as were meals and entertainment.

The attendant was happy to take a photo of us as a family. I found the attendants to have a very warm and friendly attitude on the flight, again in contrast to those of Cathay Pacific.

Three weary travellers

Unfortunately, Jetstar seem to have dropped their soothing “Let’s fly away” music from both their adverts, their boarding and taxi. It used to calm me as we took off.

Airports are very pretty at night, a maze of colourful pathways across black fields. Soon we were racing along one of those pathways and lifting up into the air across rice paddies spotted with the white and neon lights of houses, towns and roads. Then it was near total blackness as we crossed the coast and up into the clouds.

You can just make out the coast

I used to be terrified of turbulence. The slightest bump would start the perspiration flowing. It seemed like every flight, from 25 minute hops to Canberra to 10 hour hauls up north would involve an announcement “The captain has switched on the seatbelts sign. All passengers and crew must return to their seats with their seatbelts fastened.” We would be bumping and shaking and I would wonder “Is the big plunge going to hit now?”.

Last year everything changed. Our flight up to Japan was smooth, no mid air seatbelt illuminations. There was one on the way back. Then I went to Europe by myself. One illumination on the A380 flight to Singapore when we had a bit of a drop at we crossed the base of Sumatra. The following flight to London would cross the Bay of Bengal, which has a very bad reputation for turbulence. Prior to boarding that flight I was feeling exhausted, missing my family and terrified of the turbulence. But somehow talking to my wife on Skype made me feel a whole lot better.

I found myself ignoring the bumps across the Bay of Bengal and the rest of the flight. No seatbelt illumination then, nor for the following two flights back. Suddenly I was enjoying flying again, just as I had prior to 2003. Five more flights around Singapore and Malaysia, no seatbelt sign, no worries despite little bumps.

Was I cured?

Now, one year later to the day, almost to the hour, the seatbelt light was again illuminated as we bounced through wind shear. Though it was only switched on for a short time, most of the flight was a bit rough. The bumps annoyed me, yes, but I didn’t fear them anymore. Yes! I was definitely in remission!

Seatbelt light is on!

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15429 times:

We’re going down (the map!)

Despite the late hour we were served a rather insipid dinner of ginger pork and vegetables. It was about the standard of Cathay Pacific food. At least I got a late dinner, so I wasn’t really complaining. The Qantas group’s chocolate obsession continued as the attendants pushed a big tray of chocolate mousse which they then sliced up generously and served. Very nice! Ferrero Rochers and chocolate biscuits continued on the theme, while savoury snacks were comprised of pretzels.


Ginger pork

B had miso soup

Mmmmm.... chocolate!

Each StarClass passenger had noise cancelling headphones in their seat pockets and after the meal the entertainment units were handed out. I loathe these bricks as they are heavy and rather unstable, needing to sit on the tray table. Unfortunately, that precluded me from using it. Alex had fallen asleep on my lap and stayed that way most of the trip. I couldn’t put the tray table down and my movements were extremely restricted. My time was my own, but I couldn’t even get the much smaller video players or laptop out of my bag.

The Brick

The only things I could do was to listen to music on my mp3 player or watch the cabin entertainment. Unfortunately, I find Jetstar’s main movie choices not to my taste. In this case they were showing “It’s Complicated” and some documentary about extreme sports. Everytime that there was a break in programming we would get a glimpse of the flight map before it would disappear into black.

All that was left was to stare out of the window. Sometimes night journeys can be quite pleasant, if you can get over not being able to sleep. Watching the moonlight reflect off snow capped mountains, lightning flash in distant storms, the brilliance of stars at high altitude, the glowing jewels of cities below. Sadly, on this flight, there was no moon and the landscape below would have been mostly water, if I could have seen it through the persistant high clouds and obscuration by cabin lights. The clouds broke long enough that I saw one beautiful sparkling city, probably over the Philippines. Then nothing until Papua New Guinea.

I’ve heard AirAsia’s CEO suggest that the future for inflight entertainment is to let passengers bring their own devices. I only half agree. As mentioned before, I had my own devices but couldn’t use them! Seatback entertainment remains accessible if you can’t reach your bag or the batteries run out (or the batteries run out and you can’t reach your charger in the bag!), in turbulence, or when you just want to lie back and look occasionally instead of holding up your video player. I often have it on flight map during most of the flight, but IFE is what I miss most flying Jetstar.

Could I sleep? Not usually, not this time. I found the StarClass seats level of comfort quite disappointing. Something I loved about the Skybed seats was the leg and foot support. With the StarClass seats the leg rest doesn’t rise very far and neither does the seat back recline to a particularly large extent. The leg support bugged me far more than the recline as I like my legs high. Perhaps it would have been more comfortable without Alex on my lap, but even B didn’t sleep very well.

On their website Jetstar claim that StarClass is international business class. In my limited experience I would have classify it as premium economy, based upon what Qantas’ website shows for their Y+ product.

Overall it wasn’t an unpleasant flight, it just wasn’t as fun as it could be. At least Alex slept very well and it was nice to have him snuggling in even if it restricted my movements.

About 4am the attendants came through with trays of breakfast. It consisted of a tub of strawberry yoghurt, fruit salad and a pineapple danish. Not substantial by any means, but nice enough. Alex certainly enjoyed the yoghurt and the fruit juice.


He was happily awake for a little while and listened to some “In the Night Garden...” music on my mp3 player before falling asleep again.

Igglepiggle iggle onk!

What mischief can I cause?

One of the reasons I booked seats on the left of the aircraft was so I could see the sunrise. I didn’t realise that we would be descending into Cairns in darkness, about half an hour ahead of schedule. The amber lit streets were dead quiet, the mangrove lined creeks black as we dropped down towards the tarmac.

Many of the gates were occupied even at this early hour, though whether the aircraft were just parked for later usage I’m not certain. We pulled into our gate, then quickly disembarked from the aircraft. No blast of tropical humidity as we entered the airbridge, it was too early in the morning, too late in the season for that. A winding walk to the departure gate.

Domestic gates

Two Jetstar A332s

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 709 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15416 times:

Having flown JQ from KIX-OOL in both classes, I was very much impressed with their product! I'd fly it again!

Great TR

User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15416 times:

Something else that I had forgotten when booking the flight was that we would have very little time in the Cairns international terminal. I have great fondness for it, a little run down, rather tropical, not the best dining options but good views over the tarmac and somewhere reasonable to sit down and relax.

Instead we were straight through immigration and down into the typically dingy baggage collection area. The terminal was quiet and dead but for my fellow passengers. Bags started arrived using two separate baggage conveyor belts, which was rather confusing. Eventually we collected everything and walked our trolleys over to the quarantine queue.

Caught the Kuranda scenic railway many, many years ago

There was one x-ray machine and one sniffer dog. Many of the Japanese passengers were directed to the sniffer dog. I suspect it was searching for food scents. We had a number of items declared on our card, but the inspector declared that he was satisfied with our answers and allowed us through without further checks. It wouldn’t have mattered, except for the inconvenience, as we have had all these types of items checked and passed before.

Then we were out! I noticed that there were a few flights listed in the international check-in area was we walked past. We recalled changing a much younger Alex in the nearby change rooms. Today we just walked straight out. It was a cool morning in Cairns as we walked outside to the somewhat distant domestic terminal, the only indications that this was the tropics were the birdsound and the palm trees. The sunrise above the mountains was quite beautiful.


Apologies for the quality of the shots

The airport looks tropicalish

Alliance Airlines charter service Fokker F100

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15408 times:

Art out the front of the Domestic terminal

The check-in area was quiet. Initially the Jetstar representative wanted to charge us excess baggage. At the last moment she realised that we had upgraded to StarClass via the call centre (ie, not at the airport) so retained our 30kg limit. Domestic legs lack StarClass, instead you fly Jetflex, which means very little practically speaking.

Jetstar have free strollers for use in the terminal, so we loaded up Alex into one and carried our remaining bags through security.

The waiting area was spacious and clean. There were plenty of seats, a number of shops and eateries. What was disappointing was the lack of natural light and views out to the tarmac. Hopefully this is only a temporary situation during construction. Not that we really cared at that point. All three of us soon fell asleep on the seats.

Macadamia nuts and...?

Departures lounge

The seating filled up eventually

When I awoke, what I really wanted was a change of clothes. After living in my clothes for a whole hot Tokyo day and all of the night I stank and was tempted to purchase a t-shirt and underwear at one the terminal shops. B dissuaded me, despite being the one apart from Alex to sit closest to me.

With four hours to wait for our next flight this was one situation where access to a lounge would have been very welcome, especially if it had showers. I think there was a Qantas lounge, probably a Virgin Blue room as well, but we were members of neither club and weren’t flying with them anyway.

As a snack I brought Alex a banana from the fruit juice stand. “They are very nice” said the attendant, but Alex seemed to prefer the overseas bananas and refused to eat this one.

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 15357 times:

CARRIER: Jetstar
CLASS: Economy
ETD: 10:25 (local)
ETA: 13:15 (local)
AIRCRAFT: Airbus Industrie A321

My first slightly new aircraft of this trip. I don’t think I’ve flown in an A321 before, though really it’s just a stretch of the very familiar A320. The first thing we noticed when we boarded was the lack of pitch between seats. It didn’t really matter as we both fit in nicely and the journey was less than three hours. I found the seats comfortable enough.

Cairns Airport is quite an interesting place for aircraft spotting as you see a different collection of aircraft to Sydney. Your usual collection of Qantas and Virgin Blue 737s, but also QantasLink 717s and turboprops, the HeavyLift Shorts and 727 and general aviation. I watched another Jetstar A332 and a Cathay Pacific A333 take-off for Hong Kong. Then it was our turn.

Looking north along the domestic gates

QantasLink Boeing 717

I find the seats quite comfortable

I like the orange highlights

Qantas Boeing 738

Another Jetstar Airbus A332 lands

Cathay Pacific A333 to Hong Kong emerges behind the QantasLink 717s and Dash 8s

Our turn to leave

Another view of the 717


General aviation



There were some gorgeous views as we lifted off into the sky. We made a sharp turn to the left, flying over the mangroves, views of the airport, then crossing over the water. Mountains and coastline. Then glimpses of the pale blue coral reefs through the clouds. More clouds, until we crossed back over the coastline above the green canefields.

The terminals

The airport grounds look a little muddy

Looking north, back towards the airport

Cairns airport

Looking north along the coast

Now looking east

Coral reefs

Reef closeup

Clouds obscure the sea

A couple more atolls

Back over land

Alex fell asleep on my lap again as we flew high above the clouds, while B lay down across the empty aisle seat and also slept. We were all exhausted, but I was too busy enjoying the scenery outside. This was one of those classic smooth flights above the Australian landscape, flying high above the textured brown landscapes below. I was loving it.

Queensland from up high

The waterways look dry

Cloud again

The A321 interior is just as bright as the cloud outside

Tired boy

I think we were over NSW now

Alex woke after about an hour, but was relaxed, happy and easy to entertain.

Notice the contrail and its shadow on the ground

Contrail up close

Hilly landscape

Open cut mine

A bumpy green landscape signified our approach into Sydney. We descended over the Hawkesbury River, then over the northern suburbs down over (or at least near to) Alex’s childcare. We often watch aircraft on descent from there, he knows how to say “plane!”


Hawkesbury river, looking down towards Brooklyn

Another view

Flying is better than being stuck on the F3

Northern suburbs of Sydney



Rather than continue straight down past the city, we veered left over North Sydney and out to sea across Manly. When we turned back towards the coast again I was surprised. We were descended over the Eastern Suburbs. This was new for me! Down went we towards our ever increasing shadow before we finally landed on the East-West runway.

Turning east - Sydney CBD and bridge to the right

Looking north

Northern beaches


Out over the Pacific

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

Botany Bay is visible to the south

Our shadow

That shadow keeps following us...

and it’s getting bigger!

United Airlines 747 and Singapore Airlines 777

Virgin Atlantic A346 boarding

I could go right back and catch one of those

But we were destined for the domestic terminal

We the exited the aircraft via and airbridge while passengers near the back used stairs. As this was a domestic flight there were no customs and queues for us, just a wait to pick up our luggage.

Goodbye and thanks for the flight!

It had been a perfect flight! Nothing fancy, just smooth, comfortable and fun.

With our heavy luggage and child we decided to catch a taxi home. At the taxi rank the attendant agreed to radio for a taxi with a child seat but the first one who pulled up seemed rather offended that we wanted one and claimed that Alex didn’t require one. We told him to go away. Thankfully, then next taxi was driven by a friendly driver originally from Shanghai and with his own family, so he understood and was equipped for our needs. He even knew where he was going!

A pile of dried millipedes greeted us at the front doorstep when we arrived home. The dog did his business on the sheepskin rug and threw up on the bedroom floor. The one remaining goldfish was floating ill in the tank. There was no lunch to be had but a tin of baked beans for Alex. Welcome home!

After three weeks and five flights we now had the answer to the question of how well our toddler son would travel: very well indeed! Most people we spoke to were too scared to travel with young kids, or talked about leaving them at home with relatives. I’m sure that many children are different to Alex, but we were so happy to have shared a holiday with him. Was it worth it for him? I think so. During those three weeks he developed immensely, especially his vocabulary and his interaction skills. The bonds between B and Alex (he’s a daddy’s boy) were really strengthened on this trip.

We tried to include Alex in the holiday, to give him experiences that he would enjoy. That might be running around a garden or a train, seeing animals in Ueno zoo or finding a meal that he likes. We knew that our holidays would change once we had him, but like general life now, it’s fun to do things a bit differently.

As I type this Alex is now about 20 months old and loves climbing and talking loudly. I wonder how well he’d fly now.

I hope that it’s not too long before I’ll find out.

Travel blog
Photo gallery
Previous trip reports

[Edited 2010-08-06 06:27:40]

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15315 times:

Apologies for breaking up the report into so many parts but I was experiencing very random and arbitrary cut-offs for posts. For a while I could only post about 5 lines of the last post above, everything else would just disappear (and no it wasn't an html error!). I did mention this on site related before. If anyone has any ideas...

Quoting 777ord (Reply 3):
Having flown JQ from KIX-OOL in both classes, I was very much impressed with their product! I'd fly it again!

Great TR

Thanks - you were too fast to reply though!   I've done KIX - BNE and NRT - OOL before in economy and would fly it again. Not certain if I'd go especially out of my way to fly StarClass, although it was certainly more comfortable than economy. Overall, I'd prefer to fly Qantas on the SYD-NRT route, especially if I could fly business class   (although it does go overnight, unlike Jetstar's day flights north, so you end up losing a night's sleep with Qantas) if I could afford it, but will probably, and happily, be flying with Jetstar in future.

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 13936 times:
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Thank u for the TR. I lived in Soka, which is just outside Tokyo for 4 years and I loved it. Shinjuku was one of my favorite spots in Tokyo. What hotel did you stay at in Shinjuku?
I always enjoyed the ride to Narita Airport, although I usually took the Keisei Skyliner from Ueno. But it's pretty much like JR Narita Express where it's city and then the countryside. That's really the only way to go to/from Narita, using one of the express trains.
Glad you like Japan...I still miss it.

Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently onlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 44
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 13856 times:

Great report!

I must admit, I'm really nostalgic for Cairns right about now, having spent most of the fall summer/fall there. Sure is pretty...


Only thing is I suspect that CX A333 is actually going to BNE before heading back to HKG, based on your departure time.

Cute little boy!


User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13460 times:

Quoting triple7man (Reply 8):
What hotel did you stay at in Shinjuku?

The Shinjuku Prince Hotel is our preferred hotel in Tokyo. It may not be as flash as many others or as cheap as we would like but it just feels right.

Quoting triple7man (Reply 8):
I always enjoyed the ride to Narita Airport, although I usually took the Keisei Skyliner from Ueno. But it's pretty much like JR Narita Express where it's city and then the countryside. That's really the only way to go to/from Narita, using one of the express trains.

I have only ever taken the N'Ex. It gave us our first view of Japan outside of the airport terminal, plus it goes direct to Shinjuku.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 9):
I must admit, I'm really nostalgic for Cairns right about now

I recall reading your trip report on it! I've been to Cairns a couple of times now. I think it's got a bit of a tropical colony feel about it, a sense of lazy decay that I quite enjoy, although the city itself seems lacking in much that is attractive. A city that feels like it exists only for the tourist. Were I to visit again I would want to catch the Savannahlander tourist train inland.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 9):
Only thing is I suspect that CX A333 is actually going to BNE before heading back to HKG, based on your departure time.

I think you are right, I must have been reading the arrivals screen on the Cairns Airport website - I actually tried to check this while writing the report!  

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlinevhsmm From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12604 times:

Another great TR Dr Allrite.

I am undecided about QF J class. I recently flew QF "J" from HKG to BNE and NZ "J" to AKL LAX (both with FF ugrades).

The service on each was very good. I thought the quality of food was slightly better on NZ but there wasn't much in it. I am not sure about QF Skybeds. I thought the NZ business class seats were much more comfortable and had more space. As a misanthrope I wasn't bothered by the cocoon-like design either but I can see how people who need people might find it an issue. The only thing that bugged me about NZ was the difficulty looking out the window.

Hope to see you B and young Alex in the air real soon.

Flown: 727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,A300,A319,20,21,A330,A340,A380,CRJ-200,BAe146,AVRO100,Saab340B,MD82,F100,Dash8
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2779 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 12053 times:

Quoting vhsmm (Reply 11):
Another great TR Dr Allrite.


Quoting vhsmm (Reply 11):
As a misanthrope I wasn't bothered by the cocoon-like design either but I can see how people who need people might find it an issue. The only thing that bugged me about NZ was the difficulty looking out the window.

I would consider the poor window view a real downer. Also, the cocoon design would have made travelling as a family more difficult. Flying by myself it wouldn't be an issue and I think I would enjoy the privacy, but that lack of view again...

Quoting vhsmm (Reply 11):
Hope to see you B and young Alex in the air real soon.

Can't plan anything at the moment with that probable spill and fill hanging over us...  

I like artificial banana essence!
User currently offlineb707forever From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 459 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 11839 times:

What a great report, thank you. It's great to see a great family enjoy travelling and plane rides together. Thanks again.

User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11614 times:

Thanks for the TR, great reading. It looks the little guy enjoyed his flight, great kid!

Quoting allrite (Thread starter):
There wasn’t a huge amount of offer, but what was provided was of high quality. The range of non-alcoholic drinks was also good, which will probably interest few people here!

I visited the Qantas NRT lounge last Nov and noticed the same: limited selection of food especially but all high quality. Typical probably but I don't remember the non-alcoholic offerings   I was happy to find the local alcohol brand Choya, sweet and strong fruit drink in tiny little green jars, love it.

Quoting allrite (Thread starter):
I miss Japanese toilets

Great high-tech toilets there in the lounge, I was just disappointed the shower didn't offer any extra tricks!

It was my first time at NRT, unfortunately was just transiting through and didn't have a chance to visit Tokyo. My rather unusual one way ticket SIN-NRT-HEL, on Singapore Airlines (Y) and Finnair (J) rised many eyebrows at NRT and took a while to find me the boarding pass and the right lounge, but after that all went extremely smoothly as expected.

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